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Universal Orlando Resort (USF, IOA, Epic) Discussion Thread

P. 625: Dark Universe revealed!

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No sure what you've heard about Flight of Passage but Robb is right all theaters were working on opening day and are actually reliable. The reason they go down the most and stay down because people vomit and it takes quite a bit to clean the vehicles.

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And to expand on this idea a bit: It's a ride that parents and kids can do together, no matter the kids ages. We are coaster enthusiasts but also Potter fans. I rode Dragons several times and liked it (although I could never "marathon" it because that would make me sick) but when you look at any group of regular suburban moms and dads in their 50's, most of them are not "coaster enthusiasts" and aren't as willing to ride something THEY consider big and intimidating like Dragons. All the Potter rides are now rides that almost anyone can do, so parents and kids can go together instead of mom and dad sitting on a bench waiting for the kids. And several of those parents are fans as well so there is something they can share with their kids. That makes the whole area attractive to the majority of families.

No one is arguing against any of what you just said. In fact, the park NEEDED a ride like Hagrid. The question really is: "Did Dragons really NEED to go for that ride to be built?"

 

There is an entire huge section adjacent to Hogsmede with a whole bunch of either closed or dying attractions: Sinbad, Poseiden's Fury, and that whole left over Lost Continent marketplace area. Why couldn't the two rides have co-existed similar to what Magic Kingdom is doing with Space Mountain and Tron? Allowing something for both a family audience and thrill-seekers?

 

What I find interesting about this whole decision though is in the SAME YEAR that Universal removed Dueling Dragons they ran these ads basically saying "Come to Universal... we have 'bigger kids' rides..." focusing more on thrills and basically "making fun" of more kiddie rides like what they have a Disney.

 

 

So which is it? Are you focusing on families attractions like Disney or are you trying to be the "next level" like they show in these 2017 ads? I've just always felt that Universal keeps changing who they are targeting and have never been quite sure what they want to be. And that's been an issue with the park since day one.

 

How many of you remember when the completely rebranded themselves as "Universal Escape?"

 

I rode Dragons several times and liked it (although I could never "marathon" it because that would make me sick)

EDIT: I would actually argue that Forbidden Journey makes just as many people sick as Dragons did. Maybe more.

Edited by robbalvey
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Did Dragons have to go....no, there's no arguing they had room elsewhere, but for whatever reason they decided it was best for their bottom line. Maybe so, maybe no but it's done now.

 

As far as the ads, I always took that more to be we aren't catering to the stroller crowd so much as Disney. Maybe I interpreted that incorrectly. Disney sells nostalgia, Universal was smart to go a different route. Now exactly what that route is may still be in the formative stages. Having areas families can enjoy together is not necessarily the same as what Disney offers, where most teens are going to be bored most of the time. I for one was not unhappy when my son quickly outgrew most of the Disney rides, I can do without the super aggressive stroller brigade on my heels. However, Star Wars land may entice another visit from us in the future.

 

As an aficionado of motion sickness (which seriously pisses me off) I will have to respectfully disagree on the Forbidden Journey vs Dragons barfing issue. Although I certainly have no numbers to back that up, lol. Inverts are very hard on those who get motion sickness. I am guessing more people with a potential issue try FJ than Dragons though. Just my 2 cents.

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As an aficionado of motion sickness (which seriously pisses me off) I will have to respectfully disagree on the Forbidden Journey vs Dragons barfing issue. Although I certainly have no numbers to back that up, lol. Inverts are very hard on those who get motion sickness. I am guessing more people with a potential issue try FJ than Dragons though. Just my 2 cents.

 

To each his/her own... but I've tried several times to ride Forbidden Journey w/out getting sick... and I get motion sick nearly every time. And I'm fine on other rides with motion and screen-based effects (Spiderman, Gringotts, Flight of Passage, Star Tours)

 

I have yet to ride a B&M invert that has made me sick... including Dragons (R.I.P)

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I guess it's one of those things that just affects each individual differently. I've never even felt queasy on FJ, but inverts often make me sick, flying coasters more so..... So for totally selfish reasons hoping the new Jurassic coaster is not flying like some have hypothesized!

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I almost pushed back my May Orlando trip so I could experience this coaster. Truth be told, after watching the POVs I don't think that the new ride would've been worth the effort. I keep hearing on social media about this ride's amazing theming but for the most part it looks as though you go by the theming far too quick to really appreciate it!

 

Also they've been referring to this as "the world's first story coaster." How is this more of a "story coaster" than Gringotts? (Of course calling Gringotts a coaster could be a stretch to some.)

 

The one thing I'll say I'm impressed by is the lack of reliance on screens which is a nice change for Universal.

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Truth be told, after watching the POVs I don't think that the new ride would've been worth the effort. I keep hearing on social media about this ride's amazing theming but for the most part it looks as though you go by the theming far too quick to really appreciate it!

Yeah, I don't get all the praise either. Again, I'm not really being negative here because I do think it's a VERY GOOD RIDE, but I don't understand the people who are going on and on about the theming. To me, it has very good "landscaping" if that's what you want to call it. The area where you meander through the trees and the castle ruins (?) is nicely done, but then again, so is this....

1284581348_cheetahhunt1.thumb.jpg.4c5db8835ef0533156f6fb0716e6d72c.jpg

Which I would probably put most of the "theming" or "landscaping" on Hagrid's somewhere in between (or on par with) Cheetah Hunt and most certainly below Taron. It's good... some of it looks great... but it didn't blow me away to the tune of flying across the country and standing in a ten hour line.

 

Also they've been referring to this as "the world's first story coaster." How is this more of a "story coaster" than Gringotts? (Of course calling Gringotts a coaster could be a stretch to some.)

Yeah, this one really baffled me. And probably why I was so underwhelmed with the "theming." They kept using all these new terms like "Story Coaster" so I honestly assumed we were going to get some legit "show scenes" like something out of Mummy which is way... WAAAAAAY more of a "story coaster" than Hagrid's. Like, did Universal FORGET that they have another coaster not far away with actual REAL dark ride show scenes even in the middle of the coaster that all help move somewhat of a story along?

 

The one thing I'll say I'm impressed by is the lack of reliance on screens which is a nice change for Universal.

Yep. 100% agreed. I mean, this is by FAR the best thing the park has installed since probably Mummy, and I actually still prefer Mummy. It has a real STORY with really cool dark ride scenes, a great launch, some AWESOME airtime, and a room that, to this day, still CATCHES ON FIRE!

 

I honestly do applaud Universal for their effort on this new coaster. It's a fun ride. And absolutely a "do not miss" attraction at the park. But I do NOT think it deserves the insane hype it's been getting.

 

It will be interesting to see, after this initial hype dies down, and the real truths come out a few years later, if people REALLY prefer this new coaster to Mummy... or are they just being distracted by the new shiny object that FINALLY isn't screen-based!

Edited by robbalvey
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" They kept using all these new terms like "Story Coaster" so I honestly assumed we were going to get some legit "show scenes" like something out of Mummy which is way... WAAAAAAY more of a "story coaster" than Hagrid's. Like, did Universal FORGET that they have another coaster not far away with actual REAL dark ride show scenes even in the middle of the coaster that all help move somewhat of a story along?

 

It's probably a good thing the Tom Cruise reboot of The Mummy flopped so hard. If it had been a success it's not hard imagine them deciding to redo Revenge of The Mummy to be themed to the 2017 Mummy film in the way they are changing Jurassic Park into Jurassic World at USH. While we're not sure if Jurassic World will be primarily screen based, I'm not holding my breath. Florida's Revenge of the Mummy is my probably favorite indoor coaster and I'd hate to see those beautiful sets swapped out for more 3D crap and your obligatory water sprays.

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I'm not really being negative here because I do think it's a VERY GOOD RIDE, but I don't understand the people who are going on and on about the theming.

 

It seems like some kind of reaction about "screens" since this doesn't have them. Oddly enough, from the same people who say "screens are OK".

 

Like, did Universal FORGET that they have another coaster not far away with actual REAL dark ride show scenes even in the middle of the coaster that all help move somewhat of a story along?

 

It isn't Harry Potter, so it doesn't count I guess. Isn't Gringott's on RCDB too? Sure was last I checked.

 

It will be interesting to see, after this initial hype dies down, and the real truths come out a few years later, if people REALLY prefer this new coaster to Mummy... or are they just being distracted by the new shiny object that FINALLY isn't screen-based!

 

I've been asking people who actually have been to more than 5 parks what they thought if they went and there's a lot of "This isn't a top 50 coaster", "I'd rather ride Mako", "It's Verbolten with Universal level theming and that's it". This doesn't sound *bad* but it also sounds like it's kinda forceless and meandering with a bunch of pauses to look at animatronics briefly.

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Yeah, this one really baffled me. And probably why I was so underwhelmed with the "theming." They kept using all these new terms like "Story Coaster" so I honestly assumed we were going to get some legit "show scenes" like something out of Mummy which is way... WAAAAAAY more of a "story coaster" than Hagrid's. Like, did Universal FORGET that they have another coaster not far away with actual REAL dark ride show scenes even in the middle of the coaster that all help move somewhat of a story along?

Perhaps all of the marketing material was drawn up in the way early stages, and sometime between concept and construction, there were budget cuts, just like pretty much every attraction to come out of Disney and Universal in however many years. I'd be willing to bet that the initial design(s) were a lot more ambitious than what currently sits there. But again, that's just kind of what happens in this business, they do the best they can!

 

Honestly, what's curious to me is how much of the ride's story appears to be telegraphed by narration - Hagrid giving you a play-by-play as you go along. It probably helps with the "blink and you'll miss 'em" show elements, but I'm curious about possible language barriers for international guests.

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I actually still prefer Mummy. It has a real STORY with really cool dark ride scenes, a great launch, some AWESOME airtime, and a room that, to this day, still CATCHES ON FIRE!

Yeah I'm with you Rob. I was originally thinking this was going to be more on the par of Mummy. That is, an actual blend of a dark ride and coaster. Mummy is probably one of my all time favorite themed attractions, Universal or otherwise. Aside from the somewhat confusing "this is a movie set, but also actually in Egypt" queue/pre-show story, the ride itself is fantastic. Well themed, well paced, great mix of sets, SFX, coaster elements, etc. This is more of what I envision the GotG coaster at Epcot being like. Hagrid's looks like a blast for sure. A really great ride. But yeah the whole "story coaster" stuff and everything. Not so sure about all that.

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After I was wowed by the Potter parts of the park in October I sought out the books to pick up where I left off when I was younger and I've had a great time taking a dive into the HP world. Only 1.5 books left to read! I can't wait to visit Universal again I'm really excited with all of the details they are putting into the attractions and Hogsmeade/Diagon Alley for those who have seen the movies and read the books.

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Mummy is probably one of my all time favorite themed attractions, Universal or otherwise. Aside from the somewhat confusing "this is a movie set, but also actually in Egypt" queue/pre-show story, the ride itself is fantastic. Well themed, well paced, great mix of sets, SFX, coaster elements, etc.

I sort of wished they would have done a small update to the Orlando version with what they did in Singapore. Which basically took the Orlando version and stripped out all that silly "movie set" stuff. It is by far the best version of the ride!

Edited by robbalvey
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I sort of wished they would have done a small update to the Orlando version with what they did in Singapore. Which basically took the Orlando version and stripped out all that silly "movie set" stuff. It is by far the best version of the ride!

Just watched a POV of that version and yeah, seems like that's how it should have been done from the get go. Though I will say, I secretly love the cheesy fake ending bit in the UO version. It's about as random as can be, but having a ride op get sandblasted into a skeleton is a nice touch ha.

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Honestly after reading a lot of these reviews from this site, if Robb gave it an amazing review every person on here would be loving it. Since he didn’t almost everyone is hating on it. He is one opinion!!!! We love his reviews but doesn’t mean you have to agree with him!!! For god sakes have an opinion! You don’t have to agree with him 100% of the time, its ok I promise you will be ok if you don’t agree every time

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It's also okay to agree with him.

 

I have no stake in this fight, since I've never been to Universal (and likely never will), but yeah everything said about this ride sounds objectively "not that great." I don't think anyone is saying it's a "bad" ride, just that it's kinda mediocre, and in light of what it replaced, a disappointment.

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Honestly after reading a lot of these reviews from this site, if Robb gave it an amazing review every person on here would be loving it. Since he didn’t almost everyone is hating on it. He is one opinion!!!! We love his reviews but doesn’t mean you have to agree with him!!! For god sakes have an opinion! You don’t have to agree with him 100% of the time, its ok I promise you will be ok if you don’t agree every time

 

This isn’t even remotely true though. There’s plenty of times there have been people who disagree with him on this site. You’ve got in the extreme corner your home park defenders who get upset if he just says a ride is very good than the best thing ever such as Baron at Efteling or Taron as another example. Or a more milder example is I think Robb really loved Steel Vengeance whereas some people said it was good but too much for them.

 

I think the fact he’s posting on a site full of theme park enthusiasts with the same taste and experiences means the majority will come to the same conclusion and in this case yea, most non Harry Potter fans say that it’s a fun ride but no substitute for Dragons

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The newest house for Halloween Horror Nights has been announced!

 

https://orlando.halloweenhorrornights.com/site/hhn/details/announcements?__source=ag.TWITTER&linkId=69452708

 

From the evil geniuses (they paid me to say that) who brought you Attack of the Swamp Yeti in last year’s grindhouse-themed Slaughter Sinema house comes a frightening new take on the fear-inducing folklore of the wild Yeti. But beware, because this experience will trade B-movie scares for bloodthirsty terror that will send you running in the opposite direction. The snows will be red with blood in the Yeti: Terror of the Yukon haunted house coming to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights this year.

 

Story

Deep in the remote tundra of the Yukon, loggers and trappers seek refuge from the frigid grip of an arctic blizzard. But out in the darkness, a terror lurks far more dangerous than the deluge of snow and ice. These unfortunate souls have intruded into a territory that is haunted by their worst nightmares. Enter a logging camp that’s been torn apart, floors caked with snow, bones and gore. Right outside, screams are frozen on the faces of those who fled the towering monsters only to succumb to the elements. But there is no escape from beasts as brutal as the winter.

 

The Yetis

Just when you thought the only thing to fear was the elements, an icy terror will descend over you. Cringe at the trail of blood leading to caves none have lived to see. As you enter the labyrinth of caves, you’ll hear the screaming echoes of those who couldn’t escape the inevitable. If you survive long enough to see the end, you’re likely to find the remains of those who came before you and meet their same demise. You’re in Yeti territory now. They’re stone cold vicious and will stop at nothing for a taste of blood. If the cold doesn’t get you, they will.

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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I hope they have a room where the Yeti doesn't move and is only lit with a strobe.

The irony of the idea of Universal making fun of Disney for the Yeti is that Universal themselves just made some of the exact same thematic mistakes on Hagrid's as Disney did on Everest!

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I hope they have a room where the Yeti doesn't move and is only lit with a strobe.

The irony of the idea of Universal making fun of Disney for the Yeti is that Universal themselves just made some of the exact same thematic mistakes on Hagrid's as Disney did on Everest!

Bird on a Stick > Fire Farting Skrewt on a Stick IMO.

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